WHY AREN'T THEY LISTENING: UNTAPPED POTENTIAL
You know that feeling when
you think to yourself, “this is a great STORY — a no-brainer — SO why doesN'T ANYBODY care??”
We know. And so does the Department of Local Affairs (DOLA).
DOLA’s program, the Colorado Main Street Program, supports community-led revitalization. It helps communities turn aging downtowns into thriving destinations. That's a great story. So how come it's so difficult to get people to listen? Here’s what we're doing about it . .
COMPLICATED INFORMATION, MULTIPLE AUDIENCES. SOUND FAMILIAR?
The Colorado Main Street Program has two main goals:
1. Tell potential communities about the benefits of the program
2. Help current Colorado Main Street Communities share stories of their success
AND AS IF THAT WASN'T ENOUGH...
Accomplishing these goals is challenging because:
- Government programs often are perceived as complicated and burdensome
- The program is administered throughout the entire state - have you seen the size of Colorado?
- Lots of people don't like change and many residents are wary of how revitalization will impact their community
So how do you overcome these barriers and accomplish your goals?
- Get to it. Believe it or not, even messaging related to government programs can be simplified and customized.
- Find your cheerleaders. Give them tools, information, and encouragement to tell your story for you and increase your credibility.
- Get out there. Use a mix of online and face-to-face methods to communicate with leaders and residents. You are part of the brand—prove you’re a trusted resource.
- Cater to your audience. Tailoring messaging to specific audiences helps them understand the value of the Colorado Main Street Program.
- Prove it. Provide stories and testimonials from other Main Street communities sharing their success.
- Be social. Use social media platforms to share communities’ successes
- Face time matters. Host events, webinars, and summits to engage existing members and potential communities.
We get it, you can't force people to read everything you write. However, you can create relevant messaging and impactful strategies to help spread the word.
Communications Specialist at Slate